GENDER EQUALITY

United Nations

Trump win a challenge for gender equality, says honorary UN spokeswoman and jazz singer Magos Herrera ahead of Hong Kong gig

Mexican set for show at City Hall in aid of the United Nations HeForShe campaign

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 November, 2016, 5:46pm
UPDATED : Monday, 14 November, 2016, 11:32pm

An acclaimed Mexican jazz singer will hold a charity concert in Hong Kong on Sunday in support of gender equality, saying the world could face challenges realising the goal in the Donald Trump era.

Magos Herrera, who serves as an honorary spokesperson for UN Women – an organisation created by the United Nations General Assembly in 2010 to advocate gender equality – said it was important to push for change on the issue as it remained a significant problem, even in so-called “progressive” cities.

She was speaking a day after voters in the United States stunned the world by electing Trump as their new president after a raucous campaign which saw the property tycoon court controversy with remarks about women and minorities deemed offensive.

When asked if the Republican’s unexpected victory would be a setback for the cause of women’s rights, Herrera told the Post: “There is nothing more to say but ‘yes’.”

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“We have to wait and see what direction he is going to take, but definitely we are not talking about a progressive, inclusive way of thinking. But hopefully we are wrong.”

Herrera will hold her first Hong Kong concert on Sunday at City Hall in support of the HeForShe campaign led by UN Women, which is attempting to engage men to take action against inequalities faced by women.

Funds raised will support research into gender equality issues led by the University of Hong Kong.

The jazz singer said tackling gender inequality was something everyone could make a start on in their everyday lives.

“It is not about the huge challenge of how we are going to change the world. It is more about whether we do it in our simple and ordinary lives,” she said.

Meanwhile, Damian Martinez Taguena, Mexico’s consul general in Hong Kong, who helped organise the concert, said women faced challenges in every society, and he hoped the event would help raise awareness of the HeForShe campaign.

He said it was important for societies to introduce indicators on gender when compiling statistics to offer governments a better picture of the problem so they could formulate better policies.

Separately, the diplomat said he believed trade between China and Mexico – and Hong Kong’s role in that process – would not be affected by Trump’s victory.

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The US president-elect earlier suggested building a wall along America’s southern border with Mexico, and his election win caused the value of the peso, Mexico’s currency, to plunge.

“Just one election will not shift all of the underlying realities of our country. The deep integration we have with the US economy is there and it will remain there obviously,” Martinez Taguena said, adding that the growing common interests shared by China and Mexico would also continue.

“It will bring challenges without a doubt, but it will also probably bring some new opportunities.”